"Bayou Bill" Scifres
Dedicated to the conservation and enjoyment of Indiana's natural resources
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Raccoons--The Great American Airlift
Copyright © 2001 by Bill Scifres

Raccoons, one of nature's best weather prognosticators, tend to den up in groups when deep snow and low temperatures prevail over extended periods. And so it was that Cooner, our pet raccoon for nine years, had guests in her hollow beech den no more than 30 feet from our front door. 

Climbing to the high entrance to the den (to provide  food) would have been  much too dangerous and the entrance was not large and from the side of a large limb. Getting food in the hollow was a problem. 

However, by joining two cane fishing poles with duct tape and attaching a half-gallon plastic milk container (top cut off) to the pole with a strong cord, I could fill the container with goodies and swing it pendulum-style into the entrance. 

If  I allowed the bottom of the container to catch on the bottom edge of the hole at just the right time, the container would upend in the entrance, showering the refugees with chunks of apple, cheese and other treats, including shelled corn. 

This would require daily missions for the airlift, but our "thank you" notes would come when Cooner would line her babies up on the ledge of the living room picture window on an early-summer night. 

[To see Cooner enjoying a bicycle ride with daughter Joan, click here.]

All columns are copyrighted by Bill Scifres and may not be reproduced in any form without prior permission from the author.  For reproduction permission and media usage fees, contact: Bill Scifres, 6420 East 116th Street, Fishers, IN 46038, E-mail: billscifres@aol.com

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